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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami > Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service > Philosophical Doubts > Preventative Measures ,

Preventative   Measures      ,


Preventative treatment is better than taking antidotes after you have the disease. Some things to avoid:


1. Indulging in academic studies of Indology or Hinduism. Most of the scholars do not have faith and do not accept that Vedic literature is revealed from a perfect source. Therefore, their skeptical studies can damage a devotional creeper. When I was doing research for Readings in Vedic Literature, a brahmacari assisted me by reading extensively in academic Hinduism. As a result, he began to think as they do, that perhaps the Vedic literature is all mythology, and that it was written at a recent time. This caused him a serious relapse. He had to stop the research and recover by chanting and hearing from Prabhupada's books. It may be necessary to read this literature for specific projects, as some of the ISKCON scholars are doing, but it should be done very carefully. And even if mundane research is required, it should be balanced with equal time for reading in parampara.


2. Skeptical contamination comes not only from direct attacks by Mayavadis or atheists. It comes indirectly from secular eading such as Time magazine or popular television. Through these sources we begin to breathe the atmosphere of doubt and secularism which is behind them. Al­ though they do not usually "preach/' their pre­ sumption is that we should enjoy sense gratification because we only live once; religion and scriptures are not so important, but rather are old-fashioned things for past ages. As transcendentalists have always been advised to avoid worldly people and sense enjoy ers, so this injunction continues today.


 3. A positive approach is to strengthen the mind and spirit by chanting and hearing. Srila Prabhu­ pada writes in the Bhagavad-gita :Knowledge in Krsna consciousness can be achieved by a faithful person who believes firmly in Krsna. One is called a faithful man who. thinks that simply by Krsna consciousness he can attain the highest perfection. This faith is attained by the discharge of devotional service, and by chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama R^rna Hare Hare, which cleanses one's heart of all material dirt.—Bg. 4.39 purport


Once a devotee wrote to Prabhupada and said that he was having some doubts whether the Vedic literature was universal. Prabhupada first replied,"May I ask you if you are regularly chanting sixteen rounds of beads7 The tricks of the mind or in­fluence of maya will infiltrate if we do not follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the prescribed names without any offense" (Letter January 16,1970).